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SSD installed as Secondary Slave. Problem?

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July 18, 2011 5:02:39 PM

Hi. I recently bought a new computer system. I opted for an SSD drive for the OS (a 60gb corsair). I feel like my system is a bit sluggish at times though. Like it's lagging a little. Not enough to be horrible, but still... I have 16gb of ram. My windows experience index is 7.6. I paid a decent amount of money for it. I feel like I should be getting a bit better performance.
So I'm wondering if it's due to the SSD. I looked in my bios and saw that it was set as Primary Slave on IDE Channel 1. I have a 2tb Western Digital drive (partitioned into smaller disks) as Primary Master on Channel 0 and a DVD drive as Primary Slave. And then the SSD as Secondary Slave with nothing as Secondary Master. That struck me as odd. But I'm not the most knowledgable when it comes to hardware, so I hope someone can tell me whether this setup could be problematic or if I should be looking elsewhere?
I managed to change it to achi in the bios and get it working in Windows, and I did see an improvement in benchmark test. But not really noticeable in user experience.
For reference here are the best benchmark results I've had:
263 195
246 186
19 53
112 184

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Lasse
a c 289 G Storage
July 18, 2011 8:46:37 PM

These are SATA drives; there is no Primary and Secondary or Master and Slave. Easy way to tell: If you have a 40-pin ribbon cable connecting it to your motherboard, Primary and Secondary are meaningful. If you have the smaller 7-pin data connector, then that's just leftover wording in the BIOS.

An easy experiment: Turn off the machine, unplug it, and swap which controller the SSD and the WD HDD are connected to on the mobo (you will have to twiddle with the BIOS to select the correct boot device). if the SSD shows up as primary master and you still have the same results, then that was not the cause.

That said, lagging how? SSDs are usually used to install the OS. Boot and program loading time benefit from their snappy transfer speeds and nonexistent access times. But Photoshop will still run in as much time as it wants to take.

19 is pretty low for 4K random reads, if that is what that category is. Perhaps the drive suffered from being run in IDE mode, when it was getting crapped up with used blocks that were not released with the TRIM command. Anyone out there know how good Garbage Collection is on the Corsairs?

Did you notice it getting worse over time? Can you leave the machine on but idle overnight and see if the Garbage Collection helps?

-----------------------------

I'm sure about my first answer, that Primary Master or Secondary Slave don't matter. About the rest I am not sure; too much depends on the specific drive model. And are you running Win7, or an earlier version?
a c 353 G Storage
July 18, 2011 9:33:59 PM

WyomingKnott is correct on slave/master. Not sure you can even Buy a PATA (IDE) 60 gig SSD. The largest I've seen is 16 or 32 gigs.

Before swapping cables out. Down load As-SSD. install and open - Do not run bench marks.
Look in the upper right, should see:
msahci OK. if you see pcide BAD, well bad is bad.
Also should see a green OK for partition algnment.

Come back with what you see. Also would help to know what model your corsair SSD is ( that will indicate the controller) and if it is a SATA II or SATA III.

Also:
The MB (make and Model). Recomendations sometimes diff between Amd and Intel MB.
How full is your SSD.
Have you disabled Hibernation. Set the min/max size of the page file.
and if space is getting tight, moved the pagefile to the HDD>


That said: Never Buy a system with a SSD, unless you have researched the SSD - Normally Storebought" computers overcharge and/or put in crappy SSD. Normal recommendation for a Boot/program SSD: Min size, 80 gigs: recommended size is 100->128 Gigs. I KNOW, this is a day late, and a dollar short.
Related resources
a c 283 G Storage
July 18, 2011 9:37:15 PM

You indicated you have a Corsair 60Gb ssd. That would be the Corsair Force SATA II 3Gb/s 60GB ssd. If that is correct, then your Windows experience index of 7.6 is just about right. Do not concern yourself with the Windows Experience Index.

WyomingKnott is correct. Solid state drives are not labelled in BIOS as primary, secondary, master, or slave drives. Those are all old terms/configurations used for hard disk drives and other peripherals operating in IDE mode.

What is the brand and model of your motherboard?
July 18, 2011 11:05:10 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.
Unfortunately I am visually impaired so opening up the computer to mess with cables isn't really an option. But it sounds reasonable that it's just "legacy terms" or whatever in the bios. After setting it to achi mode the drives no longer appear in the IDE channels. In the hard drive boot priority settings I can see them as SCSI-0 (wd) and SCSI1 (ssd).
I was just messing around for a bit, I set the mode to RAID and then I got in the ROM status screen place and I am apparently able to make RAID disks of them... I wonder if that would be the optimum thing to do? I always thought RAID had something to do with backup drives. Would there be any point in setting the ssd to raid? And the wd?
This stuff is not my forte, obviously.

The 19 is Random Read 4KB (QD=1). I haven't really felt it get worse, it seemed to be sluggish from the getgo.
I WAS running Windows 7. But found it hard to use because of my disability. So I'm now using XP Pro 64 bit edition. I realise that XP does not handle SSD drives as well as Win7. But I have kinda felt the lag in both. Before installing XP I quick formatted the SSD in Win7 (by first installing another Win7 on the wd drive). My benchmark scores under XP are not radically different from the Win7 ones. And to be honest I don't care about squeezing every last bit of speed out of the drive. It's more that slight unresponsive feeling I get. It seems to come during most things I do. But again, it's not so much that it ruins everything. It's just a slight nag that I don't recall feeling on my older, less powerful computer. Yesterday I was copying files from one USB stick to another (encrypted) USB stick and I could really feel that dragging down my system quite a bit, making disk operations on my internal drives very slow. But maybe that's normal..

I opened As-SSD and I see..
IAsTOR oK
1024k OK

Model is Corsair CSSD-F60GB2-A
Sata/300
In Win 7 it was about 80% full in XP about 30%. So no space problems right now. I even left some space unpartitioned because I read that was a good idea.
Motherboard: Gigabyte P67A-UD4-B3
North Bridge Intel ID0100 Revision 09
South Bridge Intel ID1C46 Revision 09


Sorry if I ramble on too much. Thanks for listening and trying to help.
I have to say, I am probably the classic example of a clueless person saying "oh SSD eh? That sounds great, I'll get that and everything will be awesome". Yup yup. It took me days of googling and trying things just to get achi mode to work in XP. I should have definitely done research and such beforehand. But here we are. Things aren't a disaster right now, but I would still appreciate any input you might have. Thanks guys.

a c 353 G Storage
July 19, 2011 12:22:10 AM

IAsTOR oK
1024k OK

^ That is just what you want. Indicats that it is set up correctly.

No need to set your bios to raid, no benifit. That is for setting up a Raid array between drives - Not what you want to do.
July 19, 2011 4:44:25 PM

RetiredChief said:
IAsTOR oK
1024k OK

^ That is just what you want. Indicats that it is set up correctly.

No need to set your bios to raid, no benifit. That is for setting up a Raid array between drives - Not what you want to do.


Alrite, thanks. Maybe it's not the SSD that's causing the laggy feel then. I guess I'll have to dig further.
a c 353 G Storage
July 19, 2011 6:07:39 PM

SSD should not feel "laggy"

Here is what I would do (depends on how comforable you are !)

Should do this anyways, create an image copy of your Boot drive (SSD). This is very easy and should only take 5 to 10 Min.
.. Go to Control panel, select back-up.
.. Select back-up (create Image of Boot drive) This will back up both the small psystem partition and "C" drive. For location, use your HDD to store the image.
.. You can always use this to restore your SSD to exactly this state by simply using the Restore disk (will ask to do after creating the image file), or any windows 7 installation disk and selecting repair.

Next:
Hopefully you have the manual, If not: http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_g...
Page 25 show the layout for Sata connectors, Pg 47 shows Bios setting for HDDs

Power on and insert your window 7 installation disk, then power off

Change your sata connectors so that the SSD is on SATA connector 2(can put on SATA 0, or 1, but no benifit as your SSD is SATA II).

Move your DVD drive to SATA 5, or 6.
Disconnect your HDD for now (will connect to SATA

Power on
(1) make sure that the "PCH SATA Control mode" is set to AHCI
.... If it was not then change to and reboot, next
.... During the Post Hit your F12 key to bring up the boot menu and select your DVD drive.
When the install setup comes up. Select custom Install.
That should take you to the page asking where to install. DELETE all partitions. after you have done that select your Unpartitioned drive for where to Install. Windows 7 will create two partitions, a small 100 meg system partitionand the remainder of the SSD, this is where to install to.

Complete the reinstall
Hopefully they provided a Driver Disk (IF not need to go to gigabye website and download the drivers.
Let windows do it's updates, then complete the driver installations. The intel chipset driver, Latest Intel RST ver is 10.6, so if that is newer then use it insead of the one from Gigabyte.

When all is completed, then reconnect your HDD
AND redo your Back-up (wait sever days to make sure all is good)
July 19, 2011 7:51:29 PM

RetiredChief said:
SSD should not feel "laggy"

Here is what I would do (depends on how comforable you are !)


Thanks for the suggestion, I appreciate you taking the time. I will have a look at it, but I'm fairly certain it's outside of my capabilities I'm afraid.
July 19, 2011 10:58:00 PM

Yeah, I looked at the manual and that's too difficult for me to handle on my own.
Can anyone tell me what would be the best way to restore a Corsair SSD to completely fresh as-new status? I think I may give Win7 another try with a fresh install.
a c 289 G Storage
July 20, 2011 5:09:02 PM

djaliplume said:
Yeah, I looked at the manual and that's too difficult for me to handle on my own.
Can anyone tell me what would be the best way to restore a Corsair SSD to completely fresh as-new status? I think I may give Win7 another try with a fresh install.

You need to issue the Secure Erase command, which is part of the IDE command set. Use a utility such as Parted Magic. That's what I use; I downloaded the ISO and burned a bootable drive.

Read the directions carefully. You may have to
  • Have the controller in IDE mode
  • Set a password on the drive before Secure Erase
  • Even unplug power to the drive after issuing the command while the system is still up!

    The Secure Erase command instructs the drive itself to wipe itself clean. For SSDs, that lets it erase all the cells and mark them all as free. It takes a few minutes on an SSD. On an HDD, it can take hours to run. The National Institute of Standards published a paper on cleansing media for re-use or disposal; the Secure Erase command is the preferred method short of shredding.
    !